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Character-based Icebreaker

This idea was suggested by rustydragonfly. If you're looking for something new to read and you like characters, comment with a brief description of your favorite character types, or you could comment on types of relationships between characters that you like to see as well. If you find comments for which you have some good examples - be they your own or a fellow member's - respond with a recommendation of that character and, if you have some handy, good pieces to read to get to know that character.

Also feel free to hijack any thread to further discuss character types and what you love about them.



( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 14th, 2013 01:48 am (UTC)
Since I seriously can't play favorites with character types, here are just a few (somewhat specific) ones that I like, if someone wants to make some matches for me:

• Flawed (but still decent) parent characters: folks who don't make good decisions all the time but still really try to do right by their kids

• Humbled brats: bratty characters who get some kind of comeuppance and have to deal

• Characters who knowingly enter into bad relationships

• Well-intentioned characters who are bad at social cues (e.g. tend to say the wrong thing at the worst time)
Jan. 14th, 2013 09:32 am (UTC)
I agree wholeheartedly with the first two; I have a thing for people with rather sour personalities/histories getting better. Especially when it comes to being brought down from arrogance.
Jan. 14th, 2013 07:25 pm (UTC)
You've probably already read stuff with her, but I think Majiv may fit the flawed parent type, though I wouldn't really call her decent as such. But there are one or two places where you can tell she's trying, and that's when I feel guilty about her fudge label. Such as http://runaway-tales.livejournal.com/4363928.html (includes guns working in ways that guns do not work, I admit).

Side note - these characters are actually rather difficult for me to write, but Majiv is the sort that insists on it. Sarn might fit too, but he's a lot nastier when he gets going.
Jan. 15th, 2013 12:39 am (UTC)
oh yes, I actually thought of her when I was writing that, but I haven't read that many pieces with her. From what I have read though, she seems like the type that is super set in her ways and will hold onto her beliefs tooth and nail, at the expense of other things, so I think that might be a match. I will check out the piece you linked!
Jan. 15th, 2013 04:38 am (UTC)
Teenage Tyler could be classed as a bratty character who gets some kind of comeuppance. The saga has a Flavour Binge here.
Feb. 5th, 2013 08:09 pm (UTC)
Inara from Omni is kind of a brat (or more like a selfish social-climber who doesn't care about emotions) here (http://runaway-tales.livejournal.com/5559957.html) and gets her comeuppance in the italicized section near the end of "Deal"(http://runaway-tales.livejournal.com/5637955.html), though she hasn't quite accepted that it is a comeuppance yet.
Jan. 14th, 2013 09:51 am (UTC)
Going along with how Falootin did it, I can't play favorites with character types, but here's a few that I like:

-The gentle giants. Those that look like they could rip you to shreds with their bare hands--the brutes of the story, to be exact. But what you find is a rather sensitive and caring center, especially towards younger characters. Heaven help you decide to pick on them when he/she's around.

-Characters who might swear a mile a minute, act like jerks towards other people, has a hair-trigger temper--or all three, even (and more!)--but has those few people (family, friends, whoever) who he/she acts as a guardian angel towards them. He/she might even be persuaded by those people to cut back on the swearing or control the fiery temper, even.

-Big person/small person duos. It's a lot more diverse from there on--there's the big, hot-tempered guy and the little guy who acts as his pacifier; or the big girl who's athletic and the little girl who tries to emulate her but fails quite a lot. There's just something about that dynamic that works so much for me.

-People in the arts. Writers, painters, sculptors, you name them. Bonus points if they're the brightest color in the crayon box, too; that's enough with the portrayal of artists as unstable people in pop culture, thank you very much.

-Kids with strange powers. Bonus points if it's robotic or shapeshifting-related.

(I'm loving this icebreaker; keep 'em character types coming! :D)
Jan. 14th, 2013 11:17 am (UTC)
I'm sure I'll think of some more eventually, but a few came to mind.

The Know-it-all, preferably of the non-bratty variety. Hermione Granger and Sherlock Holmes are good examples.

Bridge Characters Well, that's what I call them. Characters that are part of two different cultures/families/outlooks etc, and can see both sides of a complicated picture.

Contradictions - characters who don't quite mesh with other people's preconceptions.

I knew I'd think of at least one more before I finished.
The Detective. And it doesn't even have to be in a detective story/novel, I just love a character who sees something off kilter and needs to try to solve it.
Jan. 14th, 2013 07:29 pm (UTC)
Bridge characters - might Ardea count? He's part of the sprinkles cast but I do like to write about him. He's part of one culture, but was raised in another and now rules a city there, and he's often a bit split between what he thinks is right and what his people think is right. http://runaway-tales.livejournal.com/5562915.html explains a lot of how he feels.
Jan. 14th, 2013 07:20 pm (UTC)
Should we sticky this for a while, or make a link at the top or something?

It's interesting how a lot of the character types are things we write for ourselves. But that makes sense, we all write what we like. So some thoughts off the top of my head:

- Older characters who can kick your backside, because they radiate awesome.

- Characters with powers who use them in unusual and/or funny ways. Basically whipping them out for things other than dealing with baddies and monsters.

- Sibling teams. I didn't know until I started MFS, but apparently I have a thing for them.

- Characters recovering from abuse, especially emotional. Bit of a personal thing for me.

- Characters who have some favourite treasured inanimate object (e.g. The Car from the Real World AU) that they love like a person.

- This one's a bit subjective, but I've discovered recently I have a bit of a thing for everyman heroes who are likeable. I find that often they're just blank templates for the sake of relatability, but I like a character you can relate to who is still an entertaining and interesting individual in their own right. (Tangent - this is sort of what I've been trying with Jen, though I don't know how successful I've been.)

- More of a setting thing, but characters from fantasy or sci-fi cultures that aren't copies of real-world places.

- And apparently, princesses. Awesome, backside-kicking princesses. I blame all the princess-centred movies I've been watching lately. They don't have to be literally princesses, but you get the idea.

Edited at 2013-01-14 07:30 pm (UTC)
Jan. 15th, 2013 12:23 am (UTC)
ETA: I posted the same link twice for Ichthus's stories—fixed now! Also her index is here.

For a sibling team, I thought I might point you to my old story Dee and Jason which takes place in the real world but has touches of magical realism. In Susannah, Don't You Cry Jason learns he has a sort of strange ability, and he and his sister work together to figure out what to do about it. (If you like them, I have a couple of more pieces in the index with *s which may be worth reading)

Also Shayna's Knights & Necromancers has characters that would fit quite a few of these: Ski and Lyssa come from princess-esque origins, kick ass on the battlefield, and are both older adults in the main part of the canon. I'm also pretty sure I've seen Lyssa use her powers in funny ways ;) There's a Ski pocky chain and a Lyssa one to get to know them, though they're MCs so there are ton of pieces in her index that feature them.

Also I thought of Tim from Ichthus's Shadow-Stalker Chronicles for a character recovering from abuse (both emotional and sometimes physical) from his father, Richard, who has also tried his best to pass on his xenophobia against the Koltari. (So Tim has to work through that, among other things). Anyway, lots of Tim pieces in main arcs 2 through 4 in her index.

Oh, and also for that category—Roisin's titular character Penn. Okay, I'm actually done reccing now!

Edited at 2013-01-15 03:11 am (UTC)
Jan. 15th, 2013 07:05 am (UTC)
Sibling teams, I haven't done much with these two yet, but Jameson and Innes are definitely a team. http://runaway-tales.livejournal.com/5425768.html That's all I have of them so far though. Although I do want to put out another, soon.
Jan. 16th, 2013 04:36 am (UTC)
For sibling teams, there is of course the Black siblings, especially Lulu and Travie. I also have Matty and Teddy, especially in whipped cream. And there's Simone and Xavier in my unnamed zombie story. I have a thing for siblings too and well, families in general.
Jan. 14th, 2013 08:04 pm (UTC)
  • Grey characters - heroes who aren't so heroic, bad guys with soft spots. I like it when the good guys have vices that they don't get over or when their motives have nothing to do with the greater good. Give me the Sherlocks and Jayne Cobbs of the world any day, please. They're much more fun than white knights. Really, I love a lovable bad guy more than anything. I worship Doofenshmirtz, who makes evil downright adorable.

  • Characters who deal with psychological issues without being poster children for their diagnosis. Basically, when it plays a role in but does not define who they are.

  • Badasses. I love the Tank with the monster sword (or whatever the world's equivalent is) who solves problems by acting now with brute force and thinks about it later if at all

  • Relationship rather than character, but I like couples who bicker and get annoyed with each other and disagree on important issues and love each other anyway. I also like it when characters don't have One True Love
Jan. 22nd, 2013 06:27 pm (UTC)
Ooh, this seems fun.

- Children thrust into difficult/"adult" situations, like dealing with death, war, a new locale or world, or a general upheaval of their way of life. Precocious children who aren't written to be annoying are great too.

- Intelligent but alien animal familiars - ones that can communicate with their partner somehow, but there's still a sort of disconnect, whether cultural or through a language barrier.

- Characters with such a rigid black/white morality code that they're willing to harm themselves (mentally/physically/emotionally) to uphold it. Characters with a strong, objective sense of justice, for good or ill.

- Unhealthy relationships (platonic or otherwise) in which both parties are to blame.

- Characters with autism/aspergers' who aren't defined by being on the spectrum. Similar to what Shayna said about psychological issues, their problems don't stem from autism but rather are compounded by it. Would prefer relatively "normal" characters, no gifted savant types. Bonus points if the character is never outright diagnosed but displays enough traits for it to be inferred. (I have a pretty keen AS radar, being on the spectrum myself).

Sorry if these are somewhat specific! I might've gotten carried away.
Feb. 5th, 2013 08:02 pm (UTC)
Okay, characters I like...

~Strong-minded, intelligent females. They don't necessarily have to be kickass in a battle, but they're not playing second fiddle to anyone, especially not when it comes to smarts. Gotta love the feminist.

~LGBTQ characters who, sort of similar to what Shayna and intothewolves said, aren't just the "token" LGBTQ character--it's a part of who they are, not all.

~Violently psychotic characters, on either side. :)

~Antagonists who do reprehensible things in the name of love or goodness. They don't necessarily have to think they're the hero of the story, just not comprehending that their motives don't justify their actions.
Feb. 5th, 2013 08:18 pm (UTC)
for plenty of LGBTQ and not a token anything in sight, check out Falootin's stuff : hi_scribbler
Mar. 15th, 2013 03:35 am (UTC)
My three favorite character types:

- Blood lusty bad girl who just cant help it. She lives for the thrill, or simply because she is forced to survive on the blood of others and has grown to enjoy it. She is always forced to look at herself in one way or another by another character.

-The nerdy idiot. She is all for the facts and almost always disregards instinct, emotion and other variables that cannot easily be proven and thusly her only way of survival is to free herself of this. Not so easily done.

-The innocent superpower. She is young and naive, and at times this comes in a physical form, such as blindness, that allows her to be overly protected from the 'evils' of the world. She is also a wielder of power so great that she should never understand it. It is sought out by many and has a tendency to destroy innocent by no fault of her own.
Apr. 6th, 2013 03:05 pm (UTC)
Days late and dollars short, but:

• My favorite character is the smiley, polite one (usually male, usually but not always light haired (at least in anime/manga) who is secretly evil or has some kind of dark past. The politeness or friendliness is a cover for their shiftiness. (e.g., Hakkai from Saiyuki, Fay Tsubasa Chronicles, or Mikage from Kamisama Kiss)

• I love light and fluffy girl/girl stories.

• Does your story take place in a multiverse or involve dimensional/world hopping in any way? Point me to it, because those are my favorite.

Edited at 2013-04-06 03:06 pm (UTC)
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